convergent lady beetle

(Hippodamia convergens)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

convergent lady beetle

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common, abundant, and widespread

Flight/Season

One or two generations: spring and summer

Habitat

Agricultural fields, forests, gardens. Any place having plants with aphids.

Size

Total Length: to ¼

 

Identification

This is a slightly elongated, to ¼ long ladybird beetle. It is one of the most abundant in North America.

The body is oval and dome-shaped.

The head is black with three white, connected spots between the eyes. The thorax plate (pronotum) is black with a white margin around three sides and a well-defined, white, dash-shaped spot on each side. The dashes converge toward the head, giving this species its common and scientific names.

The thick, hardened, shell-like forewings (elytra) are orange with up to 13 black spots. When there is a full complement of 13 spots, they are in a 1–4–4–4 pattern. The forward spot is spread over the junction of the two elytra. There is a white spot at the base of each side of the forward spot. Occasionally, the elytra have no spots.

The larva looks like a tiny, blackish alligator with numerous spines.

 
Similar
Species

 


Larval Food

Aphids

 
Adult Food

Aphids, scale insects, and other soft-bodied insects. Sometimes also insect eggs, mites, and small larvae.

 
Life Cycle

In the spring and early summer the female lays an upright batch of 15 to 30 spindle-shaped eggs near their prey. Over the course of one to two months she will lay 200 to 500 eggs. The eggs begin hatching and the larvae feed first on the remaining unhatched eggs then on aphids. In a period of 10 to 30 days, the larvae moult three times, then pupate. The adult emerges 3 to 12 days later, depending on the temperature. Adults live for weeks or months, depending on the availability of food, the temperature, and the time of year.

 
Behavior

The larvae eat about 25 aphids per day, the adults about 56 per day.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 7, 27, 29.


Comments

Ladybug
The term lady beetle is more appropriate than ladybug because the term “bug” refers to insects in the order Hemiptera.

Ineffective Insect Control
This species is widely sold by insectaries for biological insect control. Adults are gathered when they are dormant at high elevations in California where they congregate in huge masses to overwinter. Their ability to produce eggs is suspended for several weeks after they are released. During this time they migrate to other areas, making their purchase a waste of time and money.


Taxonomy

Order:

Coleoptera (beetles)

 

Suborder:

Polyphaga (water, rove, scarab, longhorn, leaf and snout beetles)

 

Infraorder:

Cucujiformia

 

Superfamily:

Cucujoidea

 

Family:

Coccinellidae (ladybird beetles)

 

Subfamily:

Coccinellinae

 

No Rank:

Coccinellini

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

convergent lady beetle


 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Elytra

The hardened forewings on an insect used to protect the fragile hindwings, which are used for flying, in beetles and true bugs.

 

Pronotum

The saddle-shaped, exoskeletal plate on the upper side of the first segment of the thorax of an insect.

       

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  convergent lady beetle   convergent lady beetle
       
       

 

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  Convergent Lady Beetle (Coccinellidae: Hippodamia convergens)
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 9, 2011

Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (08 June 2011).

 
     
  Convergent Lady Beetles (Coccinellidae: Hippodamia convergens) Mating
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Oct 1, 2011

Photographed at Fisher, Minnesota (01 October 2011). Thank you to Abigail Parker (@Bugguide.net) for confirming the identity of these specimens!

 
     
  Convergent Lady Beetle (Hippodamia convergens) 12/2011
SCRSubaruWRX
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jan 10, 2012

Convergent Lady Beetles congregating near the Butte Creek in Northern California.

 
     

 

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